HQ 76.3/New England News

THE NEWSLETTER OF HQ76.3/NEW ENGLAND LESBIAN, GAY AND BISEXUAL LIBRARIANS AND LIBRARY STAFF

Volume 4, No. 1
February, 1996

WELCOME TO 1996 and OUTWRITE!

After a brief hiatus, your newsletter is reappearing with exciting news about OutWrite, the annual G/L/B/T conference for writers, would-be writers, and anyone interested in writing. Hundreds of panels and speakers are scheduled, as well as dozens of events.

Because this is such an important event, we're sending this issue to EVERYONE on the HQ76.3 mailing list, whether or not you're a dues-paying member.

OutWrite is an event almost beyond superlatives, as can be attested to by anyone who has attended. It will take place February 23-25 at Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, and the registration costs only $65.00. Keynote speakers will be Minnie Bruce Pratt and Edmund White. The Audre Lorde Memorial Lecture will by given by Cheryl Clarke. For information and/or registration materials, contact:

OutWrite
29 Stanhope Street
Boston, MA 02116
617-262-6969
or e-mail: outwrite@bsef.terranet.com

If you're interested in volunteering at OutWrite, please contact Ellen Huie at the number given.

On Thursday, February 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Boston Public Library, GCN will sponsor free readings by the following: Mark Doty, Judith Katz, Mark Merlis, Reginald Shepherd, Kitty Tsui, and Jacqueline Woodson.

On Friday, February 23, the "Visions and Voices" Luncheon ($75.00) will take place at the Park Plaza Hotel; roundtable discussants include the keynote speakers, as well as Randall Kenan, Sapphire, Holly Hughes, Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, and Carole DeSanti. Contact OutWrite for more information.

The "Poetry and Tradition" panel will be moderated by HQ member and poet Steven Riel, who will also speak. One of his fellow panelists will be Minnie Bruce Pratt.

As in past years, HQ has sponsored a CAUCUS, which will take place on Saturday, February 24, following the panels. John DeSantis has volunteered to facilitate the caucus, assisted by Alice Abraham. PLEASE DO TRY TO ATTEND!! Librarians, library staff, and library school students will be at OutWrite and at our Caucus to exchange ideas, seek advice, and have a wonderful time gabbing!

PURPLE PROSE

John DeSantis is recommending Linnea Due's "candid and moving" Joining the Tribe (Anchor Books, 1995), about gay and lesbian teenagers, as well as the "exquisitely written" Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley (Algonquin Books, 1995), "a beautiful, tender story of two gay teenage boys in love" in the rural South.

Eric Esau enjoyed U. Mass-Boston professor Alan Helms' Young Man from the Provinces (Faber & Faber, 1995), which, he said, "reads like a virtual Who's Who of gay high society." It's set in New York and Boston in the pre-Stonewall years.

Steven Riel had high praise for My Name's Not Susie: A Life Transformed by Literacy, by Sharon Jean Hamilton (Boynton/Cook Publishers, 1995). He said, "This literary narrative traces the author's transformation from an abused and miserable foster child to a successful English professor....she has an affair with a woman along the way."

Martha Stone was enthusiastic about Edmund White's stunning collection of essays and criticism, The Burning Library (Knopf, 1994) as well as a 1984 Virago reprint of Mary Renault's 1944 The Friendly Young Ladies, a delightfully written novel about closeted lesbians living on a houseboat on the River Thames in the 1930's.

Michael Wofsey was enthusiastic about Stephen McCauley's latest novel, Man of the House (Simon & Schuster, 1996), though he thought it similar to McCauley's previous books. HQ members may remember hearing the author read from the manuscript at the reading we sponsored at Club Cafe, back in May, 1994.

Do you want to see your current favorite book mentioned? Please contact Martha Stone: stone@medex.mgh.harvard.edu.

GLSTN CONFERENCE

On Saturday, April 27, The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Teachers Network (GLSTN) will hold its conference at the Cambridge Ringe and Latin School. It is geared to educators of public and private school students from kindergarten to grade 12. Contact Patty Smith for more information.

OUT IN PRINT

Congratulations to Steven Riel, whose poem entitled "Arresting Sight" (p. 297) was published in The Badboy Book of Erotic Poetry, edited by David Laurents (Masquerade Books, 1995).

The Boston Phoenix issue of January 5-11, in a major news story, "Boston's New Gay Frontier" quoted Michael Wofsey extensively; a photo of Michael and his partner Kim Markert is featured. Are you ready for your fifteen minutes of fame? Contact Martha Stone with your news.

ALA GLB BOOK AWARDS

Committee Chair John DeSantis reported that at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio in January, Jim Grimsley, author of Dream Boy, published by Algonquin Books, and Urvashi Vaid, author of Virtual Equality, published by Anchor Books, were named winners of the 1996 ALA Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Book Awards. The awards were established in 1971 and are sponsored by ALA's Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Task Force (GLBTF); the awards will be presented on July 8 at the ALA Annual Conference in New York at a special gala breakfast commemorating the 25th anniversary of the book awards. Details on this exciting event will follow in an upcoming newsletter.

Finalists for the Literature Award were: Dorothy Allison, for Two or Three Things I Know For Sure (Dutton); Francesca Lia Block for Baby Be-Bop (HarperCollins); Howard Cruse, for Stuck Rubber Baby (Paradox); and Reynolds Price for The Promise of Rest (Scribner). Nonfiction award finalists were: Linnea Due for Joining the Tribe (Anchor); The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage, edited by Claude J. Summers (Holt); Jonathan Ned Katz's The Invention of Heterosexuality (Dutton); and Minnie Bruce Pratt's S/HE (Firebrand).

"FAMILY FRIENDLY LIBRARIES"

Laura Pattison received permission from Donna Reidy Pistolis of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom to quote from her article in the IFRT Report (no. 41, Winter 1995/6). A summary of the article follows:

"I attended the Family Friendly Libraries (FFL) Conference on October 21 in Cincinnati. Following are my thoughts feelings and impressions after attending...

"Homoscxuality and the availability of homosexual materials in libraries, especially for children, seemed to be a major concern for a great number of people in attendance...

"The first three speakers, in my opinion, were carefully selected to outline the three enemies that FFL wants to take on:
* Homosexuality and the availability of pro- homosexual materials in libraries, especially those available to children,
* Pornography, or more specifically, what they perceive as pornography, being available to children,
* ALA and OIF ...

"The final four speakers, I feel, were used to build upon the foundation laid by the first three speakers and give specific "first-hand" experience with these issues.

"After lunch, [founder of Citizens for Community Values] Phil Burress announced that ... FFL would like to start a "dialogue" with librarians as to why the group's concerns don't seem to be a priority for libraries.

"To serve this purpose, a panel was established ... (It is my feeling that the discussion not only at Phil Burress' lunch table, but other lunch tables, led the leaders of this [panel] to decide there were a number of people attending the conference who did not agree with their position and, therefore, they decided to abandon the agenda for the afternoon so they would not reveal their strategies.)

"If you have any questions about Family Friendly Libraries, or the conference, please contact Donna at 800-545-2433, extension 4221."